New test: The Kalle shirtdress in extended sizing and a D cup

Oh happy days! It’s so lovely when some of your favourite patterns come in, or are extended to, your sizing. I’ve made the Closet Core Patterns Kalle pattern before and absolutely loved the process – it’s been on my list to make again ever since (I am not too great at repeating patterns as you may have noticed, but it is something I’m predicting will become more common for me, as fewer new patterns “catch my eye” these days. I guess I just have quite a few now!). I made my last Kalle crop top in regular sizing, which was fine, but I had to do a FBA on my D cup bust and it was a little tricky, given the fact it’s a dartless top. Looking back at my post, there are a few other fitting issues I can see that were beyond my skill level then, but could probably be adjusted these days.

Anyway, the point is that the 16 in the new range (which is the size I agreed to test) is almost exactly bang on for my measurements with a D cup bust. I am a 44″ full bust, 40″ high bust, 37″ waist and 46″ hips. The only difference in the extended 16 is that the hips are 47″ for a slightly pear shape – which I’m not – but it’s all about the D cup bust, baby! The pattern is also drafted for a height of 5’6″, which I happily happen to be. So, as you can imagine, I was very keen to try this sizing out. I was also interested and quite pleased to see a small dart added to the bodice for the fuller bust (not on the website line drawing). While I sometimes want to stick to the boxy aesthetic in a top, my feeling after my first sew of this pattern is that a dart would probably produce a better result for my shape.

The Kalle has been an extremely popular pattern, so I’m sure you know of it already, but, if not, it’s a fairly boxy woven shirt pattern that comes in three lengths: cropped top, tunic and shirtdress. I made the cropped top last time, but had always wanted to try the other lengths, so this time I made the shirtdress. I also chose the two-piece collar (there is a band collar too) and I decided to go for the inverted pleat at the back, rather than the box pleat I used last time. The new size range goes from 14-30 with a D cup bust, which corresponds to a 42-58″ full bust and a 35-51″ waist. You can check out both ranges here on their website.

The instructions are extremely thorough and there are a TON of reviews since this has been a popular pattern that’s been out for a while, so you don’t need me to go through everything again. It’s really all about the fit this time round and I’m happy to say that these pictures show the draft without any adjustments at all, save a downturn of the dart. The dart was a little high for my apex, but only by about an inch (which is reasonable) and the angle of the dart meant I got a good result simply by redrawing the point from the same dart legs, rather than move the whole thing down. It’s not always possible, but it worked great here.

The 16D cup has just the right amount of room, both horizontally and vertically (the latter is sometimes forgotten in my experience) and I have a nice fit while still retaining the slightly blousy shape that is intended with the Kalle. I think the dart works to give some spherical movement around the bust, without interrupting the minimalist flow of the design. That sounds a bit poncy, now I re-read it, but hopefully you know what I mean!

I had a little niggle at the neckline and was getting a few draglines from either side of the neckline downwards when I took the tester photos. However, I took some outdoor photos for the blog today and I can’t see them at all in these pictures, despite the fact I haven’t washed the shirtdress, nor have I gained or lost weight since I finished it, so I have absolutely no idea what happened to them! I do occasionally get these lines on a fitted shirt and I think it’s probably just a little forward neck adjustment I need to make, but I’ll happily take the disappearance-of-the-draglines-for-no-apparent-reason, for now.

I was really delighted to use this gorgeous Japanese lawn that I’ve had in my stash for a while. I love, love, love it and was waiting for the right project to appear – and this was it! It has a little drape, although, as a lawn, the hand is a bit more stiff than a rayon or crepe, which I’d really love to try. I’m also really happy with the buttons I picked – they look a bit like sage cat’s eyes – don’t you think? It’s a dream to wear and I’m also in love with the way it combines with my Japanese linen Nani Iro coat – it’s the perfect autumn outfit for me!

Overall, I’m sure there will be plenty of happy sewists who’ve been waiting for the extended sizing on this pattern. Closet Core Patterns have done a super job and I genuinely can’t wait for more D cup patterns to come out, since the fit is really great for me. Lucky old me, haha! In fact, I may have tested one other for them, which I imagine will be out really soon as well. I’ll be posting about it as soon as I can. Can you guess which one?

Edit: Since I posted this, I received an email with some tweaks made after testing. These are definitely useful as the dart has actually been slightly raised and angled down. The cropped version has been lengthened a bit and CCP has tweaked the neck, shoulders and collar. So the little fit tweaks I made may be completely eliminated now.

5 thoughts on “New test: The Kalle shirtdress in extended sizing and a D cup

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